What did it all mean? I canít really say. Maybe it meant, as Steve so eloquently said, that "at the core of a man lies a thorn of rebellion and we needed a good scoff, a dare, a sneer that says ĎBack off, world. Today there will be no mowing.í" Maybe it meant we had to prove we were still rebels at heart. Maybe we just felt like taking a road trip.

Or maybe it meant that for every job, no matter how pointless and stupid, thereís someone out there willing to do it.

Whatever. It was fun. I got to meet and hang out with a fellow journaler whom I admire quite a bit. We compared notes on husbandry and fatherhood, spoke of hopes and fears, swapped drinking and not-drinking stories, came up with a workable solution for world peace, and generally talked a damn good talk. I admire Steve all the more now, especially after hearing how he shot a man named Reno just to eat his pie. Or something like that.

I got to listen to new music and talk good talk and eat at Dennyís without Beth rolling her eyes. I got to pretend I needed to lock my hubs. I got out of the house. Best of all, I got a weird story to tell, one that earns me puzzled sidelong glances from people who just donít get it. Maybe that was the reason in the first place, to be able to say "I did it and you didnít and youíll never understand why, so back off, whitebread."

Now that Iím home again, slumped back into the quicksand of everyday life, the memory of this odyssey of idiocy puts a grin on my face and a spring in my step. I donít regret it for a second.

Iím still calling The Booth, still checking in. Itís still busy. But one day, probably late one night, Iíll call and itís going to ring. And when it does?

Iím there.


May, 2000. The Booth, she is gone.

Pacific Bell and the National Parks Service have dismantled and removed The Booth, citing increased traffic through the area and its impact on the environment. That's their story and they're sticking to it. Whatever the reason, The Booth is but a memory now.

No more late night calls. No more impromptu treks into the bush. No more amateur phone repairmen. The desert is silent once again.

Goodbye, Booth.



At The Booth

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